Binge WatchingLatest News and Opinion
Posted Friday 11/09/18 at 10:34PM EST
Will Homecoming popularize the the 30-minute drama?
Source: The New York Times
"With today’s expansive TV drama installments typically running an hour (or more), each episode of Homecoming felt like a gift certificate for 30 extra minutes of sweet, unencumbered life," says James Poniewozik. "Thirty more minutes to work, to sleep or — why not? — watch a second episode. "They were no less captivating for being short. They may have even been better. Somewhere in its history, TV formalized the idea that drama is a marathon and comedy a sprint. Network schedules established sitcoms at 30 minutes, with commercials; dramas — with early exceptions like most seasons of The Twilight Zone — settled in at 60." Now Homecoming is part of a welcome trend of half-hour dramas that include Maniac, The OA and Vida. ALSO: To watch a half-hour drama in 2018 is to fling yourself into the unknown.
Posted Friday 11/02/18 at 10:48PM EDT
Why aren't there more shows designed to put you to sleep?
Source: The Outline
"It hasn’t been that long that we’ve had devices to crawl into bed with, and it’s been even less time that we could pull up any kind of content we wanted on a screen in order to fill the very particular need of 'content we can fall asleep to,'" says Casey Johnston. "Our parents pioneered the concept of falling asleep to TV, but they had little other than late night shows and probably whatever “video cassettes” made up their paltry collection. Even five years ago, bedtime TV mostly meant scraping something up from network websites or the paltry Netflix offerings, or having planned ahead and downloaded a season or two of a show or two. Those seasons still mostly aired painstakingly, episode by episode, drib-drabbing out each week instead of bursting fully formed onto a streaming platform as they do seemingly a hundred times a year now across Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and various other streaming services."
Posted Saturday 10/20/18 at 2:43AM EDT
Streaming TV has opening weekends, too -- which Netflix has dominated
Source: The Ringer
"Streaming television’s sheer density has created a sort of small-screen parallel to the film industry concept of opening-weekend box office," says Alison Herman. "What’s at stake in the crucial first few days of a show’s lifespan isn’t revenue; as television executives are quick to remind us, streaming is all about the long game, investing in a show so that it will linger in the archives in perpetuity. But the overwhelming volume of Peak TV creates a now-or-never feeling of scarcity when it comes to another finite, all-important resource: audiences’ attention. It’s a more intangible competition than the hard numbers of a box office gross, yet it’s one where Netflix seems to be at a definite, possibly insurmountable advantage."
Posted Tuesday 10/09/18 at 12:15PM EDT
The first case of "Netflix addiction" surfaces in India
An unidentified man reportedly checked into India’s National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences after consuming seven hours of Netflix a day, resulting in eye strain, fatigue and disturbed sleep.
Posted Tuesday 9/25/18 at 6:56PM EDT
CBS All Access will drop No Activity's entire second season at once
The Tim Meadows cop comedy will become the first CBS All Access series to be available for immediate binge-watching when Season 2 drops on Thanksgiving Day.
Posted Saturday 9/08/18 at 12:54AM EDT
Watching bad TV with your significant other is a classic sign that you’re in a rut
Here are tips for avoiding bad television that could doom your relationship.
Posted Friday 9/07/18 at 5:04PM EDT
Obama tells young people: "Don't binge on whatever it is you're bingeing on"
Source: TV Guide
The former president gave his most pointed speech since leaving office Friday, urging students at the University of Illinois to vote in November's midterms -- and to avoid binge-watching. Obama's comments come four months after he and wife Michelle Obama signed a production deal with Netflix, the company most identified with binge-watching. "Don't hashtag. Don't get anxious," he said. "Don't retreat, don't binge on whatever it is you're bingeing on. Don't lose yourself in ironic detachment. Don't put your head in the sand. Don't boo. Vote! Vote!"
Posted Tuesday 8/28/18 at 1:48PM EDT
Guy Pearce: Netflix instructed us not to talk about binge-watching while promoting The Innocents
“I don’t think Netflix likes the term ‘binge,'” Pearce said on the Empire Film podcast, according to Indiewire. “When we did the promotion for (The Innocents) in the (United States), we were strictly sort of instructed beforehand not to talk about ‘binge-watching.'”
Posted Friday 8/24/18 at 10:43PM EDT
Sharp Objects has mounted an inadvertent case for binge-watching
Source: The Ringer
There seems to be a disconnect between viewers and TV critics of the Amy Adams limited series. Viewers seem to slog through it as if they have an obligation to watch the prestige drama even though they don't want to, says Alison Herman. Meanwhile, critics gave Sharp Objects great reviews after receiving seven of the eight episodes in advance. "I’m convinced part of the answer to the problem of vibe versus viability lies in a show’s format," she says. "Because HBO provided every episode of Sharp Objects except Sunday’s finale in advance, I and many other members of the media imbibed the show through long, sustained gulps, enveloping ourselves in hours of story at a time. What registers as painfully slow or teasing in a week-to-week broadcast feels more like a pleasant airiness when taken in as a batch. Sharp Objects favors depth over breadth, putting down roots over rolling onward." ALSO: Warning: Watch the Sharp Objects finale to the very end.
Posted Wednesday 8/01/18 at 12:04AM EDT
Can the TV recap survive in the Peak TV era?
Source: The Ringer
TV recaps changed the way we view television, immortalizing classic episodes of shows such as Lost, Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Sopranos. But as Alison Herman points out, "the streaming model, with its seasons designed to be binged on one’s own schedule rather than watched live as a collective, has made the recap less essential as a place to process a show’s events until the next installment airs. Social media has supplanted comments sections as a meeting site for like-minded enthusiasts. The sheer volume of Peak TV has winnowed the number of shows with a following large and dedicated enough to merit a recap down to a handful of blockbusters and prestige stalwarts."
Posted Tuesday 7/31/18 at 4:36AM EDT
Presenting The Top 100 TV episodes so far this century
Source: The Ringer
The Ringer's list of 100 episodes include everything from The Price is Right to The Sopranos to Laguna Beach.
Posted Wednesday 7/18/18 at 11:21PM EDT
Netflix revamps its TV interface
The new interface rolling out today is aimed at making it easier for subscribers to quickly find stuff to watch on the streaming service. The new menu splits TV shows and movies into different one-click menus. “Our research has shown us that while a member generally isn’t sure what exact title they want to watch, they have a pretty good sense of whether they are in the mood for a quick series episode or a longer movie experience,” explains Stephen Garcia, Netflix's director of product innovation.
Posted Tuesday 7/10/18 at 1:20PM EDT
Netflix will allow Android users to automatically download new episodes
The Smart Downloads app feature aims to make binge-watching offline more convenient by downloading episodes. The app will automatically delete an episode once you're done watching, and download the next one.
Posted Sunday 7/08/18 at 6:39PM EDT
HBO must become bigger and broader, says its new overseer at AT&T
Source: The New York Times
HBO's successful approach of quality over quantity may become a thing of the past. The New York Times has obtained a recording of John Stankey, the longtime AT&T executive now charged with overseeing HBO as head of Warner Media, in conversation with HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler before HBO staffers on June 19. In the tape, Stankey appears to suggest that HBO move away from being a boutique operation focused on its signature Sunday night lineup, into something bigger and better -- something more akin to Netflix (without actually naming the streaming giant). “We need hours a day,” Stankey said, referring to the time viewers spend watching HBO programs. “It’s not hours a week, and it’s not hours a month. We need hours a day. You are competing with devices that sit in people’s hands that capture their attention every 15 minutes.” Stankey added: “I want more hours of engagement. Why are more hours of engagement important? Because you get more data and information about a customer that then allows you to do things like monetize through alternate models of advertising as well as subscriptions, which I think is very important to play in tomorrow’s world.” Pleper pointed out that HBO's approach has generated a lot of money. “Yes, you do,” Stankey responded. “Just not enough.” In an interview with The Times last month, Stankey promised a hands-off approach to HBO and CNN.
Posted Saturday 7/07/18 at 10:36AM EDT
GLOW proves that streaming shows don't have to structure their seasons like a very long movie
"The truism about writing a season of a streaming TV show — that it isn’t really TV, it’s a very long movie — is one of the more tiresome, unnecessary clichés currently in vogue," says Kathryn VanArendonk. Even showrunners of non-streaming shows -- from Mr. Robot to Game of Thrones to Twin Peaks and Westworld -- like to describe their seasons as like a "10-hour movie." But as VanArendonk points out, "the problem is that too many shows built for the long haul are boring. They’re full of baggy, meandering stories that equate episodic stories with frivolity and season-length ones with quality. Even more frustrating, the ten-hour-movie phenomenon ignores the potential for an episode to be something other than a plot bucket. The implication is that a show with an episodic framework is something lesser than, weaker, or simpler. GLOW season two is a great reminder that using an episode as an individual unit rather than one act in a film — or a book chapter, or some otherwise meaningless divider — makes the whole season stronger." She adds: "It’s so encouraging to see a show like GLOW approach the streaming form in a way that doesn’t turn the whole season into structureless pulp. The strength of separate units, stories with their own power and weight, doesn’t have to get discarded just because the episodes don’t come out one at a time."